BILLINGS – Following a two day federal trial, a Montana jury found Olaf James Haugen, 29, of Lame Deer, guilty of aggravated sexual abuse on Tuesday. Judge Susan Watters presided over the trial. A date for sentencing has not been set.
Haugen was indicted by a grand jury in January on the single count of aggravated sexual abuse. At trial, the government introduced evidence that Haugen physically and sexually assaulted the victim in August of 2013. A dispute started when the victim confronted Haugen about his drug abuse. Haugen became angry. He threatened to kill the victim with a pocket knife, raped her, hit her several times and bit her on the back. The assault started on the evening of August 31 and continued into the next morning.
The assault was heard by an individual in the adjoining room, but was not reported by that individual. Later, another individual came to the house and overheard the assault continuing. She reported the assault to the BIA and an officer responded to the scene. When the officer arrived, the victim opened a window and asked the officer to help her because Haugen was beating her up. Haugen initially refused to allow the officer into the room and threatened to stab himself, but eventually calmed down and was arrested.
The victim was examined by Indian Health Services after the assault. Her injuries included abrasions and contusions consistent with being struck, a large bite mark on her back and an abrasion on her throat consistent with having a knife held against it. The victim did not initially disclose the rape but was convinced by a family member to do so and reported the rape two days later. Haugen claimed the intercourse was consensual but gave conflicting accounts of the incident at trial and to investigating officers following his arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.